Being a woman in midlife can have its challenges. With added stress, weight gain and changing hormones. To help you navigate this transformative experience here are 5 top health tips for women over 40.

Slow Down

We have - or are still - juggling career demands, family responsibilities, and countless commitments, often putting our own well-being on the back burner and depleting our stress hormones in the process.

At the age of 40 our sex glands start to slow down the production of their hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone) they hand off their hormone-making duties to our stress glands.

As most women have been under long-term chronic stress this transition to your stress glands taking over can quickly deplete your estrogen, which starts the process of perimenopause symptoms like hot flashes, weight gain, night sweats and brain fog.

This makes prioritizing your self-care and reducing stress paramount.

Slowing down and reducing stress not only helps our stress glands and hormone production it allows us to tune into our inner rhythms, to reconnect with ourselves on a deeper level.

It's a conscious choice to step off the treadmill of perpetual motion and embrace a more mindful approach to our lives.

By honouring our need for rest and taking time to relieve stress, we can cultivate a greater sense of balance and harmony, helping our changing hormones and perimenopause and menopause symptoms in the process.

How to Slow Down and Reduce Stress

  • Manage your schedule. Reduce what you can (you are allowed to say no to extra obligations, really you are)
  • Meditate. Even 5 minutes helps.
  • Ask for help. You don’t have to do everything.

Get Your Brain On Board

Cultivating a positive mindset around menopause and aging can be one of the most important steps that women can take.

Society does not always paint a pretty picture of women in perimenopause and menopause, so it may seem like this is the path that you’re on, but that doesn’t have to be reality.

The law of belief is that what you believe (with feeling) becomes your reality.

I don’t know about you, but I choose to believe with a passion that I can be healthy, fit and sexy at any age. This belief, my feelings with that belief, and the actions I take because of that belief make it my reality.

Being healthy and fit (in your own unique way) can be a reality for all women over 40.

How to Get Your Brain On Board

  • Check in with yourself. Do you think just because you’re over 40 that it’s all downhill from here? If so start by changing the narrative in your head.
  • Use affirmations.
    I can be fit and healthy.
    I’m beautiful.
    My changing body is amazing.
  • Guided meditations that cultivate a positive mindset (this helps with stress and slowing down too)

Women over 40 Meditating

Move Differently

Regularly moving (exercise) can help with common menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and weight gain by regulating hormone levels and improving overall well-being.

Incorporating a combination of strength training, flexibility and - some - aerobic (cardio) exercises can support bone health, muscle mass, and cardiovascular function.

As hormones change we start to lose muscle mass so as beautiful women over 40, we need to focus more on strength training instead of cardio. The added benefit of strength training (other than toning and strong bones) is it burns visceral body fat (belly fat) long after a session of strength training.

Endless amounts of cardio isn’t going to help as hormones change and our body tends to want to store fat instead of using it.

Moreover, exercise is a potent antidote to the stress and anxiety that can accompany this life stage, promoting mental clarity, emotional resilience, and a sense of empowerment. 

By embracing a consistent exercise routine, we can not only navigate the challenges of menopause more effectively but also be stronger, more vibrant, and fully empowered to embrace the possibilities that lie ahead.

How to Move Differently

  • Incorporate strength training. There are many ways to do this at home (no need to go to a gym). If you’ve never really done strength training, get help to get the proper posture and to avoid injuries. 
  • Think of cardio as fun instead of long periods of intense exercise. Things like walking, swimming, dancing. 
  • Try HIIT - High-intensity interval training.  These exercises are done in a short time frame and are great for strength and cardio.
  • Stay flexible with yoga. Yoga is a great way to reduce stress and stay flexible.  If you’re new to this try a beginner yoga class to get the basics down and to avoid injuries.

Get Quality Sleep

With women over 40 navigating sleep can feel like a delicate balancing act, as hormonal fluctuations and physical changes often disrupt the once-familiar rhythms of rest.

Many women experience difficulties such as hot flashes, night sweats, and insomnia, which can leave them feeling tired and irritable during the day.

Prioritizing sleep hygiene becomes essential during this time, including establishing a consistent bedtime routine, creating a cool and comfortable sleep environment, and practicing relaxation techniques to ease into restful sleep.

Additionally, addressing underlying factors such as stress, anxiety, and hormone imbalances through lifestyle modifications or medical interventions can help improve sleep quality and overall well-being. 

By recognizing the importance of restorative sleep in supporting physical and emotional health, women can navigate the challenges of menopause with greater resilience and vitality, ensuring they emerge from this transformative stage feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

How to Get Quality Sleep

  • Plan for it. Set up a sleep routine that works for you so you're getting in bed in time to have the rest you need.
  • Make your bedroom about sleep (and sexy times) only. When you make your room about sleep your body and brain know when it lies down it’s time for sleep.
  • Get more sleep tips in my article How To Sleep Better In 6 Easy Steps
Woman over 40 sleeping

Understand & Manage Your Changing Waistline

Navigating the shifting landscape of your waistline during menopause can feel like a journey through uncharted territory. As estrogen levels fluctuate, so too does the distribution of body fat, often leading to a noticeable change in your shape. 

Historically, higher levels of estrogen signalled fertility and attractiveness to potential mates, and among other things directed fat deposition around the hips and thighs.

During our 40’s, our body changes as estrogen starts to decline leading to a redistribution of fat to the abdomen, changing the once-familiar contours of your waistline.

Many women become frustrated and confused that the things they did in the past to stay fit don’t seem to have an effect on their changing bodies. Estrogen and your sex hormones are one reason why.

Fat on your abdomen (belly fat) is visceral fat that surrounds important organs, like your stomach, liver and intestines. It’s different than subcutaneous fat, which sits just below your skin. Visceral fat can cause health issues like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and some cancers.

Being a woman over 40 and beyond doesn’t mean we’re less attractive, just different, and we need to think of our health differently.

That’s why it’s so important not to wait the many years it may take to move through perimenopause and menopause and to help and support our changing bodies now. 

How to Manage Your Changing Waistline (or Lose Weight)

  • Use these top 5 health tips for women over 40.

  • Stop dieting. Dieting is a hard and unrealistic way to release extra body fat. Drastically changing what you eat and exercising like a maniac isn’t sustainable.
  • Focus on eating nutrient-dense foods in a way that is solely unique to you and incorporate the other four tips into your lifestyle.

Easier said than done, I know.

To help you on your journey to sustainable better health learn more about my Nourish Me program and discover how to:

  • Enjoy meals that nourish your body and soul, without feeling restricted or deprived.
  • Happily say goodbye to diet frustrations, energy slumps, and information overload.
  • Have some much-needed relief from frustrating symptoms.
  • Confidently navigate the sea of nutrition information and make informed healthy and happy choices.
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